By Benét J. Wilson, chair, NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force & social media/eNewsletters editor, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
I’ve been using my iPad for more and more work-related tasks, thanks to some great apps and the device’s portability. The one negative factor is trying to type stories using the glass keyboard. I’m just no good at it.
I went on eBay and bought a cheap keyboard that connected to the iPad via Bluetooth. It worked for a while, then became quite buggy and unreliable. That left me with lugging my MacBook Pro or taking my Gateway Netbook.
But after attending several journalism-related events where I saw folks with cool keyboards attached to their iPads, I decided it was time to take another look at what’s out there — and spend some money.
So I did what I usually do — I crowdsourced my question about what folks thought were the best iPad keyboards on the market. I considered the Logitech Ultrathin, ZAGGFolio, ClamCase Pro and the Belkin Folio.
But all bets were off once I saw the Brydge, which was born from a Kickstarter campaign. As a MacBook Pro user, I love the way this keyboard simulates that experience. the clips allow you to adjust your iPad by 180 degrees.
The Brydge has a built-in speaker that really enhances the sound from your iPad. It comes in Mac silver, but I bought the black polycarbonate version because I thought it looked cooler.
The speakerless aluminum Brydge costs $169.99; with speakers, it’s $199.99. My black version, with speakers, is $129.99 — and worth every penny.
After I did a post recommending iPhone and iPad apps, I received a request asking for my picks for students. Here they are.
CamCard (free) – if you’re good at the networking game, you will need a place to organize all the business cards I hope you’re picking up. You snap a picture of the card, and you’re able to organize the information in your iPhone/iPad contacts. I bought the paid version ($2.99) for the NABJ San Diego convention and have never looked back. The free limits the number of cards you can download, so shell out for the paid version.
Ptch(free) – the tag line for this app is “An Instagram for all your media…” You can use it to create a presentation using videos and photographs. It’s great for creating short pieces that can be included on a reel.
iMovie ($4.99) – you need a quick-and-dirty editing app and this is it. But it has rich features, including the ability to create movie trailers, create and edit HD movies and share them across social media platforms.
LinkedIn (free) – this app is a great resource for those looking for internships and that first job. Build up your network, join journalism-related groups and start reaching out to those who will help you in your networking efforts. Also, join the group LinkedIn For Journalists. You’ll learn how to use the platform for stories.
SlideRocketor Haiku(both free) – Looking for an alternative to PowerPoint or Prezi? Try out these two presentation apps.
About.me(free) – use this app to create a portfolio page to show off your work and let potential employers know who you are.
Resume Maker ($2.99) – this is a great tool to help you get your resume together. You can create custom versions for potential employers and download it as a PDF.
Interview A-Z(99 cents) – so you’ve done the resume, and got the interview. Use this app to go over potential questions employers may ask. it also offers interview prep tips and help with writing cover letters.
StudyBlue(free) – I’m teaching myself Spanish, and as part of the learning process, I use StudyBlue flash cards for memorizing key words. You can create your own or crib from the hundreds of cards created by others.
Temple Run (free) – sometimes you just need to walk away and clear your head. My 7-year-old daughter is a master at this distracting, yet fun game that lets you tap your inner Indiana Jones.
Yesterday I did a post on iPhone apps I’d recommend for NABJ President Greg Lee. I posted a link on Facebook, and one of the responders was Dori Maynard of the Maynard Institute. Dori got an iPad for Christmas, so here’s the apps I’d recommend for her.
AppStart(free) – for the iPad newbie, this is a must-have app that offers great advice on the best apps to download as you begin your tablet journey.
Flipboard(free) – I’ve all but abandoned my Google Reader for this app. You can use it to do great magazine-style feeds of your favorite publications. You can share story links via Twitter, email links or read them later. I’d also download Pocket(free), which is an app that stores Flipboard stories for offline reading later.
CNN(free) – the news junkie in me loves this app. I can read stories, see breaking news videos, get updates on important stories and even watch live programming (thanks to my DirecTV subscription).
Prezi(free) – step away from the boring, predictable PowerPoint presentation with this animated app.
Apps Gone Free (free) – every day, this app suggests between eight and 20 paid apps that are being given away for a limited time. I’ve gotten some great photo/video and travel apps through this app.
SoundNote($4.99) – I learned about this app via a post on best journalist gifts over at the 10000 Words blog. While you are typing your notes on your iPad, it also records. When you want to play something back, tap the word and the recording takes you there.
Google Drive (free) – if you’re like me and have moved many documents to the cloud, having this app makes it simple to access all those files.
JoinMe(free) – let’s say you want to have an online meeting with the ability to share your screen. This app does that, and works great on the iPad.
Storify(free) – Dori and former NABJ President Herb Lowe know I’m a HUGE fan of this multimedia storytelling program, and you can create the same magic on your iPad with this app.
Find iPhone/iPad (free) – this app will help you recover a lost iPhone or iPad even if the volume is off. Combine this with a pass code to open your items, and you’re good to go in the security area.
By Benét J. Wilson, DJTF co-chair, Online Managing Editor-Business Aviation, Aviation Week Group
As Apple prepares to ship out the first iPads, my work and NABJDigital Twitter followers have been discussing whether or not to order their own. I love to have the latest tech toys, but I’m just not feeling it for the iPad quite yet. I have an iPod Touch, a Blackberry Curve and a Dell laptop. I’m just not seeing how an iPad would fit into my life right now. And $629 for a 16GB iPad with 3G wi-fi access is a bit steep for my pocketbook.
But if you’re still thinking about getting one, there is help. Thanks to Mark Luckie of the 10000 Words blog for passing along a column from Wired magazine’s GeekDad blog, which has a cool flow chart that walks you through the process of whether or not you need to buy an iPad. If you get one, drop us a line — we’d love to write about how you’re using it!
By Bliss Davis, Bowling Green State University Journalism Student
I’ll admit, when I first saw the tweet from @TheAppleBlog when the iPad was unveiled, I was more than unimpressed. First, I wanted to know who came up with the name, and not to congratulate them. Next, as an iPhone 3GS and MacBook Pro owner I wasn’t convinced having an iPad was that big of a deal. My sentiments were confirmed after looking at various news and blog outlets and their traffic commenting on it.
Here are the physical specs for the iPad, per Apple:
Height: 9.56 inches
Width: 7.47 inches
Depth: 0.5 inch
Weight: 1.5 pounds Wi-Fi model; 1.6 pounds Wi-Fi + 3G model
Pricing starts at $499, with the priciest model (64 GB with Wi-Fi+3G) at $829. The highest price is much less than the anticipated $1000 estimate circulating when the iPad was a mystery. Even so, it doesn’t quite sound all that spectacular. Listening in on the unveiling it appeared Steve Jobs focused heavily on convincing everyone why they should get it. Was he wondering the same, perhaps?
Whatever he was wondering aside, the following are the ideas that grew on me in the hours surrounding the announcement:
Wandering through Twitter I came across one person in particular who was very excited about the iPad. Photographer @JeremyCowart had this to say about it, “I’m pumped about the Tablet announcement today cause it’s really going to help the photography industry I think. Especially editorial.”
This makes perfect sense. In terms of front end content, the iPad is on to something. Delivering content is the meat of what the device can do, and it’s meant for those with specific goals in mind. I can easily envision a reporter using it to look up news RSS feeds before morning meeting. Sure, you can do this on a smart phone or take a quick look at your computer when you arrive at your destination, but the screen in the former and the need to get to information quickly in the latter is remedied when an iPad steps into the picture.
An iPad would also be useful in the field, though I admit I would still prefer my laptop until I got a hold of one to test out. With a combination of Wi-Fi capabilities and the revamped version of iWork, the iPad is ideal. Its pricing is fairly competitive compared to other tablets out there, though an only issue would be it’s lacking innovation. If Apple wasn’t synonymous with cool these days, it probably wouldn’t stand out too terribly against its PC counterparts. Combine that with a lack of camera, and it’s even less impressive. I’m definitely eager to get my hands on one in a few months to see how it stands up to other tablets.
Another idea that crossed my mind was it’s potential usefulness in areas where a way to access the internet and transfer info is crucial. If you’ve ever followed Haitian news closely, you know that there currently isn’t much Haitian generated news to follow. Haitian journalists in Port-au-Prince and the surrounding region have had very little resources to work with since the January 12th earthquake. If Apple made a “rugged” version of the iPad (akin to the Panasonic Toughbook tablets often seen in hospitals), they would have my vote as something field-worthy. Thin may be in for now, but to be useful in the field it likely needs a more heavy-duty backbone.
Only time will tell when it comes to Apple. Known for new models and updates with features consumers wanted in the first place, the future looks optimistic the iPad. For now, we’ll have to see how content creators take advantage of the it. Are these possibilities even exclusive to the iPad? We’ll see come spring.